2013-02-13 - The Object of Belief
The Epistles of John ~ Part 95 ~ 1 John 5
Generally we recognize that because we are children of God, we can expect the same rejection from the world that rejected Christ. In fact, Jesus stated:
"Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20).
A fact we often seem to miss, though, is the counterpoint to the world's rejection. This is the principle that those who love God love His children. And conversely, those who love His children, love God. The two concepts are inseparable. Christ's commands to believers are to love God and love others. If we say we love God, then we must love one another. And if we love one another, then we must be loving God.
As we've pointed out on previous occasions, we are not talking about emotional feelings towards God and people. These require nothing. We are talking about agapé. Godly love requires action towards God and others. Our love must reflect obedience in action.
Notice that belief in Christ, and all that belief implies, means the believer is a child of God.
The next fact is that a child of God loves the Father. This is the natural response of a child to the Father's love. God first loved us; therefore, as His children, we love Him.
"We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
We, in turn, love one another. We do so, because the natural consequence of being loved by God, and in turn loving Him, should be obedience to His commands. And we are commanded to love one another. We can not overemphasize the importance of the love demonstrated between believers. Love of one another is so much a part of what should be the Christian life, that if it is not practiced by an individual, there is reason to question the reality of salvation. We are not saved because we love one another. But clearly, because we are saved, we should show this love.
To be continued.